Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Ida Mae Jones is a young African-American girl living during the 1940s in Slidell, Louisiana. All she wants to do is follow in her late father's footsteps and fly. Her mother allows her to do some crop dusting for local farms. Yet, every time Ida Mae tries to become more than a simple rural crop duster, she is turned down for being a woman and black. Then, her older brother joins the war effort.
When her younger brother hands her a news clipping of a new organization for women pilots called the WASPs, the Women Airforce Service Pilots, Ida Mae knows this could be her chance to help her brother, even if it is only from a distance. However, even though there is nothing in the article stating women of color could not join, the training camp is in Sweetwater, Texas, which in the 1940s is not the friendliest of places for anybody of color. But there is a glimmer of hope. Ida Mae notices, in a picture of the first group of WASPs, an Asian woman. Ida Mae has a lighter skin tone than most African-Americans. Maybe, just maybe, all her dreams can come true.
Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith has been nominated for YALSA's 2009 Teens' Top Ten. I wholeheartedly agree with their choice. Flygirl brings hope to anyone who has struggled to overcome adversity in achieving their dreams. I could not put this book down. If you are looking for great historical fiction, look no further. Sherri Smith takes you on a sometimes heart stopping journey, which will empower you to take the next steps to achieving your dreams.